The European Parliament adopted a historic resolution strengthening the rights of families of LGBTI persons on Tuesday 14 September.
Focusing on freedom of movement, the Parliament expressed its concern that rainbow families are discriminated against on grounds of the gender identity of the parents or partners. When crossing borders, trans parents might jeopardise “all legal ties to their children” if their gender identity is not reflected in their identity or kinship documents. Border authorities might also not recognise them as parents of their own children.
The Parliament, therefore, calls upon Member States to ensure the legal gender of trans parents is recognised. This is the first acknowledgment by the European Parliament of the specific difficulties trans parents and their children face when trying to exercise their right to freedom of movement.
TGEU welcomes the resolution and demands forthcoming proposals by the EU Commission on the recognition of parenthood and same-gender partnerships. Guidelines on freedom of movement should be fully inclusive of trans families and the issues they face.
Masen Davis, TGEU Executive Director, comments:
“Our research showed heartbreaking stories of trans parents fearful of losing legal ties to their children or experiencing discrimination when crossing borders. Nearly 1 in 5 trans people are parents. All people residing in the EU, including trans people, have the right to safely travel across borders. It is time trans parents get to enjoy the same rights as everyone else.”
Richard Köhler, TGEU Senior Policy Officer, adds:
“While it is on member States to regulate legal recognition of a parent’s gender identity, the EU Commission must take action where member States fail to do so. Trans parents and their children must be able to enjoy their rights and freedoms, including traveling or residing in another member State, without discrimination. The proposed Directives on parenthood, partnership recognition, and EU Commission guidelines on freedom of movement need to be inclusive of trans parents and their children. This would be a proper response to the member States’ lack of action.”
TGEU has recently published a study focusing on the difficulties trans parents face when trying to cross borders in the EU. In the report, trans parents shared:
“We have the right to free movement. To just have a life, travel, see our family. But my kids don’t have any documents besides their birth certificate. I can’t travel with them, can’t go on holidays with them. We are just stuck here.”
“I couldn’t really explain to [my children] all the stress. I still can’t really explain to them why their parent is afraid of border controls, why I’m so distracted.”